LDWF News Release

AMENDED - Shrimp Task Force to Meet July 13th

Release Date: 07/08/2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360



I.               Roll call and introduction of guests

II.             Approval of April 20, 2016 meeting minutes and July 13, 2016 agenda

III.           Treasury Report

A.     Budget report- LDWF

IV.            Old Business

A.     Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Update- Myron Fischer

B.     Update on the Status of Shrimp Permits- Myron Fischer

V.              New Business

A.     To Consider Funding for the Congressional Staff Educational Trip

B.     Overview of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan- Brian Lezina

C.     Discussion of Shrimp Sizes for Setting Fall Shrimp Season- Jeff Marx

D.     Discussion of Oyster Lease/ Boundary Marker Regulations- Acy Cooper

E.     Update on Experimental Device Test Permit- George Hallner

F.     Discussion of STF Vacancy Appointments- Mark Schexnayder

VI.            Public Comment

VII.          Set Quarterly Meetings

VIII.        Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at



The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Commercial Harvest of Blue Crabs

Release Date: 07/08/2016

News Release


For Immediate Release
July 8, 2016


Contact: Ashley Wethey
Public Information
(504) 286-8733



The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission considered a Notice of Intent (NOI) to enact commercial blue crab harvest restrictions in order to reduce fishing pressure on the blue crab stock at their monthly meeting yesterday.

The NOI restricts the commercial harvest of immature blue female crabs except those being held for processing of softshell crabs. It also establishes a 30-day closure of the blue commercial harvest and the use of crab traps beginning the third Monday of February. Both management actions would go into effect in 2017 and last through 2019.

Legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs in their possession, not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in their possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the immature female restriction while aboard an active fishing vessel.

All crab traps remaining in state waters during the closure will be presumed to be engaged in active fishing and considered illegal.

To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.

Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jeff Marx, Marine Fisheries Section, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 2415 Darnall Rd., New Iberia, LA 70560 or via email to jmarx@wlf.la.gov prior to September 1, 2016.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.


LDWF to Hold Henderson Lake Public Meeting

Release Date: 07/08/2016

News Release

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2016

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information - LDWF
(504) 286-8745


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, St. Martin Parish Government, the Town of Henderson, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct an informational meeting concerning a recommended drawdown of Henderson Lake.

Who:  LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff

What:  Public meeting to discuss the management of Henderson Lake

When:  Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.

Henderson Town Hall
1015 Amy Street
Henderson, LA.

The meeting will include a presentation by LDWF on the 2016 Henderson Lake Management Plan and an update on the current status of the lake. LDWF staff will field questions concerning the management of the lake.  Anyone interested in Henderson Lake is encouraged to attend. 

The current LDWF Henderson Lake Management Plan can be viewed at:http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland

For additional information regarding the meetings, contact Brac Salyers, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bsalyers@wlf.la.gov or (337) 373-5100.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive department news, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries To Host Four NASP Basic Archery Instructor Courses

Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 7, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host four National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) Basic Archery Instructor courses for the Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) program.
The courses include:
July 29: Doyle Elementary School, Livingston
July 29: Haughton Middle School, Haughton
Aug. 8: Northwood High School, Lena
Aug 8: West Feliciana Middle School, St. Francisville
The eight-hour course, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., will provide certification to educators who want to bring the NASP/ALAS curriculum to their schools. The NASP/ALAS program introduces students in grades 3-12 to international target style archery as part of their in-school curriculum and is available to all schools in Louisiana. All professional educators are welcome to attend.
All training material and equipment is provided and there is no cost for the course for professional educators. There are a limited number of spots available for each course and they will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register online, go to http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA.
For more information about the ALAS program, contact Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.


Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts NOI to Establish Rules, Regulations for Importation of Cervid Carcasses

Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 7, 2016 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to establish rules and regulations on the importation of cervid carcasses into the state during its July meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
The NOI would prohibit the importation of cervid carcasses except for deboned meat, antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth.
Cervids listed in the NOI include, but are not limited to, white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, red deer and reindeer.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Deer Program Manager Johnathan Bordelon said this regulation would be an additional effort aimed at preventing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD has not been found in Louisiana, though Texas and Arkansas have recently reported cases of it. It has been documented in 24 states and two Canadian provinces.
“This will serve as another tool to limit the spread of CWD and other wildlife diseases,’’ Bordelon said. “Louisiana would become the 37th state with rules and regulations governing cervid carcass importation.’’
To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
Public comment can be submitted in writing by mail to: Johnathan Bordelon, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to jbordelon@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2016.
For more information, contact Johnathan Bordelon at jbordelon@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2344.


Natchez, Miss., Man Drowns in Tensas River Tuesday Night While Frog Hunting

Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 7, 2016 – A Natchez, Miss., man died Tuesday night when he fell overboard from his boat on the Tensas River in Catahoula Parish and drowned. Carroll Dobson, 44, was frog hunting with his two sons, stopped his boat, stood up and then fell into the river.
One of his sons jumped into the river to save him but was unsuccessful. Dobson was not wearing a personal floatation device and was drinking alcohol around the time of the accident, according to his son. Neither of his sons was wearing a personal floatation device.
The accident occurred at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.


Vernon Lake Drawdown Scheduled for Maintenance and Aquatic Vegetation Control

Release Date: 07/07/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown for parish/state/landowner maintenance, vegetation control, and fish habitat improvement on Vernon Lake in Vernon Parish.  The drawdown is scheduled to begin the first week of September 2016.  The control structure will be closed during the first week of January 2017 to allow water levels to return to normal..

The lake level will be lowered 8 feet below pool stage.  This level is required to achieve the desired effect and allow access for maintenance of private and public property.  

 LDWF and the Vernon Parish Police Jury / Vernon Parish Game and Fish Commission have cooperatively developed a schedule for drawdowns on Vernon Lake..  Under this agreement, Vernon Lake will be drawn down every 7 years for dam, spillway and boat ramp maintenance, vegetation control, and fish habitat improvement (compaction of bottom sediments).

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Sean Kinney, LDWF Biologist Manager, at skinney@wlf.la.gov (337) 491-2575.  

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.



Justin Keen of Choudrant Wins Grand Prize in LDWF’s Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Turkey Harvest Contest

Release Date: 07/06/2016

Justin Keen (middle) receives his grand prize from Cody Cedotal (left) and Bowie Outfitters Ruffin Moreland.

July 6, 2016 – Justin Keen of Choudrant said it was a surprisingly quiet spring for turkey at his hunt club in Jackson Parish. But Keen heard just enough to harvest his limit of two birds this season.
In doing so, he took home the grand prize in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Tag and Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Sweepstakes. Keen won a Mossberg Model 535 Triple Play 12-gauge shotgun provided by Bowie Outfitters. Two other hunters will be selected to receive lifetime hunting licenses provided by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.
An integral part of LDWF’s turkey management program is hunters reporting each harvested turkey, as required by Louisiana hunting regulations. During the 2016 turkey season, hunters had the added incentive provided by the Tag and Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Sweepstakes.
Hunters needed only to validate each tag for each turkey harvested during the 2016 season. Each validated tag equated to an entry in the prize drawing. Any hunter who validated his/her turkey tag information within seven days after harvest was automatically entered in the contest.
“Tagging information plays a vital role in our management of the state’s turkey population,’’ said Cody Cedotal, Wild Turkey/Small Game Program Manager for LDWF. “So we came up with the Tag and Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Sweepstakes as an extra incentive for turkey hunters to report their harvests. We thank Bowie Outfitters and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation for providing the prizes and congratulate Mr. Keen.’’
Turkey hunting is what Keen, 32, said he loves most. It’s a family affair and he often hunts with his wife, Laura. He schedules his vacation time around turkey season.
But he said he wasn’t sure he’d harvest his limit this season as he didn’t hear much when hunting.
“This wasn’t a good year for us as far as turkeys gobbling,’’ Keen said. “They weren’t very vocal this year. But I got lucky. On the first one, I didn’t hear any gobbling at daylight. But about an hour after daylight, I finally heard one just start gobbling in the clear cut. I was able to get a shot on him.
“The second one, I happened to go out one morning and he was gobbling right at the crack of dawn. I was able to set up pretty close to where he was roosted. Got him shortly after he flew down.’’
Keen said he’s seen first-hand how LDWF’s management of the state’s turkey population has helped numbers increase. He said he believes reporting harvested turkeys is a critical role in management.
“It’s really good where I hunt,’’ Keen said. “Over the years, I’ve seen the numbers go up. A lot of my buddies that hunt around the same area I do, they used to not have any birds and now they’re starting to see a lot more. Our birds are steadily spreading out. We’ve always had birds on our hunting club and in the area. We’re starting to see them in a lot of different spots now. They seem to be doing good in our area.’’
Turkey harvest validation, or reporting, provides parish-level data on the season harvest numbers and calendar information that illustrate trends in the state’s turkey harvest. That information plays a critical role in setting season lengths and bag limits. If harvest data is under-reported, LDWF biologists and managers cannot make accurate determinations on hunting success and turkey population parameters.
Prior to hunting turkeys, all turkey hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain turkey tags and have tags in possession while hunting. Immediately upon harvesting a turkey, the hunter must tag the turkey with the appropriate license tag before it is moved from the site, and the hunter must document the harvest on the attached report card portion of the turkey tag license.
For more information, contact Cody Cedotal at ccedotal@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2354.


Toledo Bend Reservoir: A Fish Dynasty

Release Date: 07/05/2016

Louisiana lake named top bass fishing destination for a second year in a row
For the second year in a row, Bassmaster Magazine named Toledo Bend Reservoir the "Best Bass Lake" in the nation. In the history of rankings, this is the first time a fishery has held the number one spot for more than one year. 
Since 2012, the magazine has published the annual 100 best bass lakes in the country, and Toledo Bend has placed within the top 15 every year.
Four months of research went into the ranking, including information from state fisheries departments, B.A.S.S. Nation directors, Elite Series pros, the 3,500-member B.A.S.S. Council and B.A.S.S. Facebook fans. Plus reams of catch data from more than a dozen tournament organizations over the past 12 months were studied.
The Toledo Bend Lake Association provides replicas to sportsmen who land bass 10 pounds or larger and release the fish back into the lake alive. Replicas are awarded every June. In 2015, the fishery produced 81 verified fish over 10 pounds. During the 2016 lunker year, running from June 2015 through May 2016, the number of replicas awarded nearly doubled to 139 double-digit bass.
Toledo Bend Lake straddles the Louisiana and Texas border, and lake management is the responsibility of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These agencies, in addition to various local organizations, have released more than 28 million Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings into the reservoir.
Just last month, LDWF Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery personnel enlisted help from 20 B.A.S.S. Elite Series anglers to help distribute thousands of Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings throughout the lake. Booker Fowler is responsible for raising millions of bass fingerling each year, utilized to stock state water bodies.

Although the introduction of Florida bass into the lake through stocking was beneficial, it certainly was not the lone contributor in the recent increase of trophy bass. Mother Nature deserves much of the credit. 
Drought conditions in 2011 caused the lake water level to drop more than 12 feet below normal, exposing large areas of the lake bottom. Drawdowns, whether man-made or caused by Mother Nature, expose bottom sediments to oxygen and sunlight, increasing decomposition of organic materials.  This improves spawning habitat by solidifying the lake bottom, increasing available forage and releasing nutrients into the water when the lake refills. Improved spawning of all fish species provides greater food resources for the lake’s largemouth bass population.
“We’re honored that Toledo was selected for this title for a second year in a row,” said Ricky Moses, LDWF’s head of freshwater fisheries. “I would like to thank all of the state and private organizations the who helped to make this happen. Through aggressive stocking efforts coupled with day-to-day management decisions (and help from Mother Nature), the lake continues to thrive and produce trophy bass.”
Rounding out the top three spots for the Best Bass Lakes of 2016 were Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina at number two, and Clear Lake in California claimed the third spot.


LDWF Investigating Boat Accident That Kills Dry Prong Man on Cane River

Release Date: 07/04/2016

July 4, 2016 – A Dry Prong man was killed Saturday morning on the Cane River near Natchitoches when the boat in which he was fishing was struck by another vessel. William R. Morrison, 65, was ejected into the water and died when a boat driven by Shannon Mctire, 39, hit the vessel in which Morrison was fishing.
A passenger in Morrison’s boat, Teresa Halbert, wasn’t seriously injured in the accident.
Morrison and Halbert were stationary fishing in a bend on the Cane River at approximately 7:20 a.m. when the accident occurred. Mctire came around the bend in the river and collided with the vessel’s bow, knocking Morrison into the river. Morrison was in the bow of the boat fishing and Halbert in the aft.
Mctire immediately stopped his boat and jumped in the water to assist Morrison, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Charges are pending in the case, however, alcohol was not a factor.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident led by LDWF Sgt. Joseph Melton.

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